Hurricane Ida Nears Category 5, Winds At 150 MPH

The Weather Channel reports:

Hurricane Ida has strengthened into a Category 4 as it heads toward landfall on the northern Gulf Coast today, where it will bring life-threatening storm surge, dangerous rainfall flooding and potentially catastrophic winds.

Ida had winds of 150 mph as of 6 a.m. CDT on Sunday, making it a strong Category 4 hurricane. Maximum sustained winds in Ida increased by 70 mph in 24 hours, which easily meets the criteria for the rapid intensification of a tropical cyclone.

Ida is centered about 75 miles south of the southeastern tip of Louisiana and is moving to the northwest at 15 mph. Landfall in southeast Louisiana should occur this afternoon.

The New Orleans Times-Picayune reports:

“Life-threatening storm surge, potentially catastrophic wind damage and flooding rainfall” will start Sunday morning on the Gulf Coast, forecasters warned.

Storm surge estimates for Hurricane Ida have increased in the latest update. Now, forecasters said, the storm could push up to 16 feet of water from Port Fourchon to the mouth of the Mississippi River.

Rain estimates have increased as well, with up to 24 inches now possible in southeast Louisiana and southern Mississippi. Warnings related to Hurricane Ida are in effect for Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. New Orleans is under a hurricane warning.

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